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Horizon Elder Law & Estate Planning Blog

Monday, December 10, 2018

Five Reasons to Plan in Advance for Medicaid Asset Protection

Many people assume they will live at home until their deaths and will not need long-term care. Other people assume they will not need long-term care for many years, so they have ample time to plan for nursing home care or assisted living. However, you never know when you may need long-term care. Depending on your situation, long-term care can be extremely expensive. For your family, the cost of long-term care can be an overwhelming financial burden. Without advanced planning, you could lose all or a substantial portion of your assets.

However, by working with a California asset protection attorney, you can develop a Medicaid asset protection plan that preserves your property for your heirs while providing for long-term care when you need it. Below are five reasons why you should consider engaging in advanced planning for Medicaid asset protection.

Speed Up Medicaid Approval


Advanced planning allows you to develop a strategy for distributing or transferring assets that can make Medicaid approval quicker. If an agent must carefully examine recent transfers of property to ensure that the transfers do not violate Medicaid requirements, it could delay approval of Medicaid for long-term care.

Avoiding the Look Back Period


You must be very careful when transferring property because Medicaid has an automatic look-back period. If you transferred assets during this look-back period, your Medicaid application might be denied. Advanced Medicaid planning allows you to transfer assets that could make you ineligible for Medicaid benefits so that the transfers do not occur during the look-back period.
 

Long-term Care Insurance May Not Be Sufficient to Pay All Costs


Some people do not think they need to engage in advanced planning for Medicaid asset protection because they purchased long-term care insurance policies. However, long-term care insurance does not always cover all costs of nursing home care or assisted living care. You could have a gap between the insurance benefits and the cost of care. If you have not carefully engaged in Medicaid planning, you could face substantial out-of-pocket costs for long-term care.

Health Insurance Does Not Pay for Nursing Home Care

Relying on your health insurance to pay for nursing home care or long-term care is not a solution. Your health insurance coverage may pay for a short-term stay in a nursing home or assisted care facility. However, health insurance is not designed to pay for long-term care. Medicare does not pay for long-term care either. Therefore, you need a Medicaid asset protection plan now in the event you need long-term care or nursing home care in the future.

Protecting Your Spouse

Advanced planning can ensure that your spouse will have the resources and assets necessary to care for himself or herself if you need nursing home care or assisted care. Without a Medicaid asset protection plan, your spouse could lose substantial property because he or she will be required to pay for your long-term care by liquidating assets. Even if Medicaid pays the cost initially, Medicaid may place a lien on the property, leaving your spouse without a home or other assets after your death.

Contact a California Asset Protection Attorney to Discuss Medicaid Asset Protection Planning

Advanced planning is the ideal way to protect assets and ensure you qualify for Medicaid when you need it.  Do not wait to plan for your future care. Contact a California asset protection attorney at Horizon Law today to review all your options for asset protection to help you develop a Medicaid asset protection plan that works for you.


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